HC Deb 26 November 1968 vol 774 cc272-3
5. Mr. Dalyell

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the approximate cost of collecting£1 million in Income Tax,£1 million in tax from Surtax,£1 million in Capital Gains Tax,£1 million in Corporation Tax, and£1 million in Selective Employment Tax, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the number of civil servants involved in collecting various forms of taxation.

Mr. Harold Lever

It is not practicable to provide separate figures for each Inland Revenue tax. In 1966–67 collection of the four Inland Revenue taxes specified cost approximately£13,800 per million pounds, or 1.38 per cent. The administrative costs of Selective Employment Tax on both collection and repayment are expected this year to amount to£3,852 per million pounds, or 0.385 per cent. Approximately 84,000 civil servants are employed for the purpose of administering taxes.

Mr. Dalyell

Does my hon. Friend detect a certain inconsistency among those who both call for a reduction in the Civil Service and want to abolish the Selective Employment Tax?

Mr. Lever

Yes, but not an inconsistency in solitude.

Mr. David Howell

Will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind nevertheless that approximately the same number of people are employed in the Federal Government of the United States in collecting tax from a population four times the size of ours, and is there not a lesson here for possible reductions in staff and increased use of mechanical and electronic means for assessing and collecting taxes?

Mr. Lever

That sort of supplementary question provides the maximum satisfaction to the questioner and the minimum possibility of providing information to the answerer.

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